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Here we describe how B2B market research can help in a marketing strategy and advertising campaigns
Did you know that in 2020 alone, the UK spent £21 billion on advertising? The way that advertising is conducted has changed, primarily due to B2B market research. But, let’s backtrack to describe B2B market research. It is the process of collecting information on what existing and potential customers want. Through B2B market research, companies can conduct brand perception surveys, product-market fit, and much more. Additionally, they can also modify their advertising campaigns based on customer input.
When the decisions involve such high stakes as £21 billion, you have to make sure your advertising campaign is near to perfect. B2B market research can help with that.
How is B2B market research conducted? One study shows that 89% of B2B market researchers use the internet at some point during the research process. Marketers have much to do with B2B market research. For example, brand research can help them design an advertising campaign that resonates with customers. Or through customer feedback, they can understand customer perceptions and how to best target segments. With the help of data on customer purchase decisions, pricing and features of a product can be worked out. They can also find out which market to enter next.
Let’s go into detail on how B2B market research is conducted. Below, we discuss the steps involved in conducting B2B market research:
Generally, B2B respondents are much harder to find than B2C. They do not have as much free time as B2C respondents, and they are already a niche audience. Moreover, people tend to switch careers often, making them harder to find. Some examples of B2B professionals include decision makers, directors, and C-suite.
However, you can reduce this issue to a certain extent. First, you have to make sure you have specific questions when approaching B2B professionals. For example, if you are doing brand perception research:
To add to that, you can also use you business’ existing CRM base. Or you can use pop-ups on your website for people to fill in their contact details. Also, to better attract them you can offer them higher incentives than B2C respondents.
If you’d like to know the difference between B2B survey respondents and vetted B2C survey respondents, check our blog post here.
Collecting responses depends on the nature of B2B research. B2B market research can be of two types: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative B2B research means the collection of data that can’t be written in numbers. This is to understand potential underlying causes of consumer behaviour or gain other qualitative insights. Through this research, you’ll have an idea of your business's target market. Here, you can use focus groups, open-ended questions, and interviews.
Next, we have quantitative B2B market research. This kind of research involves collecting information that can be defined in numbers. Additionally, it’s much more precise than qualitative data. You can do this through polls, interviews, and questionnaires.
After collection, researchers must analyze the data, infer conclusions based on that data, and report the findings. For quantitative B2B market research, you can use various data analysis tools to analyze the data. Examples include Excel, R, and SPSS. For qualitative research, market researchers must go back and view transcripts and recordings of interviews, and focus groups, and typically a theme emerges from these conversations. Once the data is analysed, the findings are then compiled into a report that begins with an executive summary.
Let’s illustrate this with an example. Say a mobile network provider like GiffGaff is having issues with CRM. They decide to conduct B2B market research to find out best practices for call centres of mobile companies. In addition to this, they also conduct a B2C survey to know how customers like to communicate with them. They have a team of 15 people at their call center. They all work round the clock, but still, customers aren’t satisfied with their service. To find out why this is the case, they use an online panel provider. After the survey is completed that find that 98% of customers prefer text messages.
GiffGaff discovers that all the time and money on the call center operations are wasted. Customers don’t prefer calls, rather they want text messages. Consequently, GiffGaff is able to revise this system. They decide to put this message in their marketing communications. Using an ad campaign that emphasizes text-based CRM, they are able to attract more customers.
Let’s take another example of a mid-sized fashion retailer. The clothing company wants to differentiate itself from competitors. However, to do this, they need a strong USP. They decide to do a B2B industry survey to find out emerging trends in clothing. Through the survey data, they find that sustainable clothing is a huge and upcoming trend. People tend to be environmentally conscious while shopping for clothes. They prefer to buy either second-hand or recyclable materials to reduce environmental impact. As a result, they incorporate the sustainability message in their advertisements.
By doing this, they get an edge as compared to their competitors and they are able to increase market share. As you can see from the examples, above B2B market research is not only helpful in Ads but can also save you money. If you want to increase advertising effectiveness and save some money, consider conducting B2B market research now!